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Copyright: Films, News, TV and Streaming Media

Films, News, TV and Streaming Media

YouTube Videos

You may use videos posted on YouTube and other video sharing sites which are posted by the copyright holder or with the copyright holders permission.

Many of these types of sites contain content not uploaded by the copyright owner. It is good professional practice to check the legitimacy of a YouTube video before using it in the classroom.

Many content creators like the CBC have channels on YouTube. The videos found on these channels can be used.

Have a Question on Copyright?

Information provided in our guide can often be confusing and hard to interpret. If ever in doubt contact Marcia Steeves the College's Academic Integrity and Copyright Officer.

Media in Remote Learning Environment

In a remote classroom (online) there are a number of legal and technical issues that hinder the use of films:

  • Conferencing software (webEx, Zoom) are not built for the delivery of a live viewing of a full length film. Connectivity issues pose problems for both faculty and students;
  • One time viewing of the film in an online class does not provide alternate options for students that might require multiple viewings for understanding, or for those that miss the initial class viewing;
  • Recording of the film (creating a ScreenCast) and posting to D2L creates an illegal copy of the film in direct violation of copyright;
  • Use of personal use streaming sites (Google Play, iTunes, Netflix) are all subject to their own terms and conditions, limiting the use of the film for private home use except in a small number of films specifically released for this use (see, Third Party Streaming Plugin Apps for additional information);
  • and, the use of AirTime and other media sharing applications are also subject to additional terms and conditions, limiting the use to media which proper rights have been obtained.

While a physical classroom allows us to full length films, we are obligated in the online environment to secure the appropriate streaming rights to show some of these films to our students. Here are some best practices to consider in a remote classroom environment:

  • selection of alternate resources from one of the existing library streaming services;
  • providing a URL link to students to legally posted videos online;
  • contacting library staff for assistance in identifying alternate resources or sources;
  • where budgeting permits, there may be an opportunity to source the appropriate rights and have your resource added to online streaming subscriptions.

Media in the Classroom

Under the legislation changes in 2012, faculty can show a "cinematographic work" in class without further rights or permissions as long as it is a legitimate copy (Copyright Act, 29.5(d)). News Programs: Faculty can also record a news program and show it in the classroom. But this only applies to news, you can not record any other programs to show in the classroom (Copyright Act, 29.6).

Here are some examples of what you can do in the classroom:

  • Show a clip in class from a DVD you own of the television series "How I Met Your Mother".
  • Borrow a DVD copy of “The Godfather” from the public library and show it in class.
  • Purchase a copy of “Roots” from Amazon or Chapters and show it in your class.
  • Record a news program from the night before and bring it to class to show your students. But this only applies to the NEWS, not to films, TV shows, documentaries, etc.
  • Show a legally posted video from YouTube in your class.

Here are some examples of what you can not do in the classroom:

  • Record an episode of “Mad Men” from TV to show in your class. You would be required to buy or rent a copy of this or ask the library to purchase a copy on your behalf.
  • Copy a DVD of “Wall Street” and then convert it to an online format. This is a major NO without permission from the copyright owner!
  • Show a pirated copy of a film in your class (it doesn’t matter whether you purchased it or not).
  • Show an illegally posted video from YouTube in your class
Also, don't forget about the Library's subscription to a variety of Streaming Video collections.  All of these educational films can be shown in class.

Third Party Streaming Plugin Apps

With COVID-19 has come further development of third party streaming plugin apps for individuals to "host" online viewing sessions with friends and family, at this time there are two apps that we can recommend for synchronous streaming but each come with their own points of caution that need to be considered.

  1. Netflix Party (
    • ​​​​​​​Netflix Party is a downloadable Chrome extension that allows users to host a viewing party of any Netflix content. While in normal instances one could not show a Netflix film to a class of students, this extension requires each user to sign in individually thereby ensuring each participant has their own legal access to Netflix allowing for group viewing.
    • App allows for live text chat during the film for interaction with participants.
    • Cautions:
      • Each student would require their own Netflix account to login, as well as use of a Chrome browser with the downloaded extension
      • Students studying online from abroad may not have access to the same films as domestic students due to Netflix licensing
      • Streaming is dependent on the individuals bandwidth access, so variations may occur in streaming strength.
      • Does not allow for asynchronous experience - students unable to attend session would need to view/access film on their own.
  2. (
    • ​​​​​​​This site allows for group viewing of YouTube videos, either individual or a curated playlist of your choice. Since it is limited to available YouTube content the presumption is that YouTube has filtered for copyright issues already.
    • As participants enter the virtual theatre they are asked to select a "seat", the seat chosen changes the angle at which they are viewing the videos to give a true theatre feel to the experience.
    • Allows for live text chat during the viewing for interaction with participants.
    • Cautions:
      • Only for use with YouTube content.
      • Host must create their own account and ensure that the virtual room is set to private to limit random browsers entering room.
      • There is a time limit currently to how long a room can exist.
      • Streaming is dependent on the individuals bandwidth access, so variations may occur in streaming strength.
      • Does not allow for asynchronous experience - playlist or video links would still need to be provided to students unable to attend.
      • Parts of the site are still under Beta testing.​​​​​​​
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